Tag:Michael Beasley
Posted on: October 25, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 5:41 pm
 

Beasley: NBA negotiations are 'kind of retarded'

Posted by Ben Gollivermichael-beasley

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley would like to kindly submit an entry for consideration into the the pantheon of memorable player slogans to emerge from the ongoing NBA lockout.

To recap, we've got "How u" by Roger Mason, "Let us play" by Derek Fisher, "Love the game" by Jordan Brand and "Ready to fold" by JaVale McGee.

Beasley's submission: "Kind of retarded." Oh boy.

Yes, that's how the problematic chucker chose to describe the current state of negotiations at a charity baskedball game in Oklahoma City, reports the Associated Press.
"Fighting over 3 percent, that’s kind of retarded to me,” said Michael Beasley, who scored a game-high 56 points. “But it is what is. We’ll come to an agreement.”

“The quicker we can get a deal done, the better,” he added. “Like I’ve been saying before, the main ones suffering are our fans.”

Let's just put aside the obvious insensitivity and political incorrectness to focus on his larger point, whatever that might be. Seriously, I'm not sure I've ever heard someone refer to a billion dollars and the structure which will govern their livelihood for the duration of the career so dismissively. But, hey, Be Easy, right?

Frustration is one thing, and everyone involved is feeling frustrated, but this is the wrong way to express it. Whether he realizes it or not -- probably not -- Beasley's "I don't care about the details, let's just get it done" attitude is exactly the sentiment the NBA owners are banking on. That's music to their system redesigning ears.

Uninformed apathy and blind faith in a resolution are major reasons the owners can move forward with a plan to cancel the early portion of the season, costing players paychecks and increasing the urgency factor. Pretty soon, "We'll come to an agreement" will transform into "We need to come to an agreement!" and that will morph into "SERIOUSLY, GUYS, WE NEED AN AGREEMENT" and before you know it the players union leadership is catching real pressure from two sides. 

We shouldn't expect anything less from Beasley, though, as his marijuana bust, face mushing of a fan and bait-and-switch All-Star Classic reminded us this summer that he lives in his own universe.

In a perfect twist, SoleCollector.com reported Tuesday that Beasley can't even keep a shoe deal, getting dumped by adidas recently. In light of that, maybe it would be best for Beasley to let Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher handle the heavy lifting from here on out. 

Related: Miami Heat forward LeBron James calls a reporter's question "retarded" during the NBA playoffs.
Posted on: October 22, 2011 7:53 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2011 7:57 pm
 

Everyone bailed on Michael Beasley's charity game

Posted by Ben Gollivermichael-beasley

There have been a lot of sad stories during the NBA lockout, but this rivals them all.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley, he of the marijuana arrest and fan face mush, decided to organize a charity basketball game in Minnesota. Great idea! He invited tons of big name players, including NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant and All-Star Kevin Love. He even called it the "All-Star Classic" and organizers reportedly charged up to $300 for a ticket.

Two problems. None of the good players showed up. And not many fans showed up.

The Star-Tribune reported that everyone who is actually good that was scheduled in the game just no-showed.

Organizers originally priced tickets at between $60 and $300, then changed them to $40 general admission, $100 for VIP reserve and $300 for court seats when it became clear Durant, Love, [John] Wall and No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams wouldn't play.

The paper also reported that organizers estimated the attendance at 1,200. The Associated Press, though, pegged the number at "about 600 to 700."

So who was left to play in this "All-Star Classic?" Exactly zero All-Stars of course. The seven NBA participants, according to the AP, were Beasley, Wesley Johnson, Anthony Randolph, Wayne Ellington, Lazar Hayward, Anthony Tolliver and Dorell Wright. Wright can actually play, Beasley and Johnson both started a majority of games for the 17-win Timberwolves last season, but the rest are fringe NBA players. Potential D-League All-Stars, sure, but that's about it. And, together, not even enough players for a full 5-on-5 NBA experience.

Paying to see Kevin Durant and getting to see Wayne Ellington instead would have gone down as the worst kind of bait-and-switch imaginable, but thankfully the proceeds went to worthy local charities. 

Beasley's All-Star Classic winds up serving as a tidy symbol of his own NBA trajectory. Launched with the promise of big things as the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Eventually revealed to be something totally different and, ultimately, disappointing.
Posted on: October 21, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Beasley hires PR firm to help his image

Posted by Royce Young

When I say, "Michael Beasley," what do you think of? Wasted talent? Pot smoking? Pickup ball streetfights? Really dumb things in general?

That's why you hire a PR firm. To re-shape that image. Via the Star-Tribune:

He has also taken up ballet to transform his body and hired a public- relations agency to improve his image.

“I want everyone to know that I’m not this monster that they perceive,” he said. “I’m a really nice guy….”

He has played with childhood pal Durant and Wall in exhibition games across the country and also has incorporated elements of yoga, karate and, yes, ballet into summer workouts intended to make his body stronger, more limber and help ensure a long, productive career. He has dropped about 15 pounds after playing last season at 240 pounds.

(Wait, rewind to that first part -- ballet? Michael Beasley is doing ballet? Talk about the black swan.)

Beasley is far from a "monster" though. He hasn't done anything over-the-top horrible. He got caught with some weed. He got in a scuffle. He's just kind of an immature idiot that can absolutely get everything straightened out. Compared to other "monsters" out there, Beasley's a pretty good guy. Relatively speaking, of course.

The biggest issue for Beasley has just been that he's wasting an extreme amount of talent. We're talking a No. 2 overall pick that averaged 25-10 as a freshman at Kansas State. He's easily a top tier NBA talent if he could keep his focus and continue to work. Beasley had nights for Minnesota where he scored at will. Remember the first month last season? He was a top five scorer. Then he started to tune out and didn't bring it every night.

A PR firm isn't going to turn him into the basketball player he should be. Which is really all the PR he needs. Once he starts putting it together on the court, all that other noise will fade away. Or at the least, fans will ignore it because he's scoring. Sad, but that's kind of the way it is.
Posted on: September 19, 2011 1:06 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2011 9:41 pm
 

The biggest loser from Eurobasket? Ricky Rubio

Posted by Royce Young



Eurobasket 2011 was about a whole lot more than just a player. It was about a loaded Spain team coming together with an incredibly talented roster to win gold and automatically qualify for the 2012 Olympics. And in the meantime, catch the full, undivided attention of Team USA.

But as has been the case for the past four years or so, we've all remained intrigued with one player that happens to look like Justin Bieber's Spanish doppelganger. Eurobasket provided us the opportunity to take a good, long look at Ricky Rubio, who remember, will actually play for the Timberwolves this season.

How did he do? Well, judging by his numbers, bad. Very bad. Here are the averages he had during the tournament: 1.5 points, 2.1 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. With that, he just 23.3 percent from the field, was just 1-for-15 from 3 and made only a single free throw. His best game? Five points, seven rebounds and four assists against Macedonia. And before you ask, he saw a solid amount of playing time in the tournament -- 15.5 minutes per game. (He averaged 1.5 steals per game and was pretty active in passing lanes, which was good.)

Now of course you have to realize where Rubio fit in with a loaded Spain team. The offense basically revolved around the Gasol brothers in the post while Juan Carlos Navarro provided a perimeter spark with his shooting and driving. Rubio's job was pretty much to dump the ball inside and then get out of the way. It's most certainly not the way he'll be used in Minnesota in Rick Adelman's system. And for the billionth time, he's just 20 years old.

Still. Still. It's just hard to ignore the latest -- and probably brightest -- red flag in de-hyping Ricky Rubio. Not just because of the numbers, but because we haven't really seen a player that's going to light up defenses with crazy court vision and wondrous offensive control since the 2008 Olympics. And that was just in short three-minute bursts. It's a question of if Rubio can really sustain himself as an NBA starting point guard that doesn't just set up Kevin Love and Derrick Williams, but also defends Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul. At this point, can you picture that happening?

After another buzzkill performance, I have to ask: What exactly is there to be all that excited about? What are we supposed to be seeing that's to make us think this guy will tear up the NBA? I get that he had a few nice defensive games and can steal a few passes, but is that really what the apparent "savior" of Minnesota basketball is supposed to possess? Some quick hands?

He's young, yes. He's still got a lot of time to grow and learn. He could very well be an excellent point guard that takes a little Steve Nash flair and a little Rajon Rondo court vision and bottles it into a playmaking whiz. It could certainly happen. But at what point are we supposed to see something to make us think it could happen?

The best thing that could ever happen to Rubio's NBA career just did though and that's Adelman being hired to coach the Wolves. He's an offensive genius that understands and teaches spacing and movement better than anyone. Rubio will be at least a solid point man just by default of the offense and the players around him. Derrick Williams will be good. Kevin Love is a star. And wingers like Wesley Johnson, Michael Beasley and Martell Webster give him a healthy number of options to pass to.

But that's assuming Rubio understands how to assert himself within an offense. It's not just Eurobasket. His European professional seasons haven't been anything impressive either. Last season for Regal Barcelona, he averaged 6.5 points (on 39 percent shooting), went 11-49 from 3 (22 percent) and in the place he's supposed to excel, he averaged just 3.5 assists per game. And that was maybe his best season yet in Europe.

Again, I'm not giving up on Ricky Rubio. I want him to be good. With Adelman coaching, the Timberwolves just went to a lock for "League Pass Favorite" with a lot of NBA junkies. We know Rubio can pass. We know he has a gift in seeing the floor and setting up teammates like he's Xavi, the great Barcelona midfielder. He's got a unique set of skills in him. He's a gifted, talented player and what he can do should work better in the NBA than it has in Europe. But will it ever translate into anything more than a slick YouTube highlight or two? Isn't it getting to hard to ignore red flag after red flag with Eurobasket being the latest?

If anything, Eurobasket's just increased the pressure on Rubio. He's got people like me now staring him down and expecting something good in a very short time. Instead of giving a 20-year-old a little breathing room and time to grow, we're all going to expect five assists a game with one being a dazzling no-look oop every game. We're going to expect Rubio make an impact immediately, otherwise it'll be too easy to say, "I knew it! Eurobasket foretold the story!"

What Rubio is facing is maybe the unprecedented situation of being labeled a bust before he even plays a game in the NBA. Not an easy world to be walking into. Thing is, it's not like it's unfair or undeserved. He hasn't done anything to convince someone otherwise.

Rubio played his role for Spain in Eurobasket. Didn't complain, didn't break character, didn't try and do too much just because a lot of eyes were on him. And to his credit, he never has. Even with the pressure of undeniable hype, Rubio has always played his game, no matter how meager it might look in the statsheet. But all that means is that he's got more people expecting him to fail, more people ready to point and laugh at David Kahn. I mean, let's be honest: Kahn's job is riding entirely on the shoulders of Rubio right now. Kahn was in attendance at Eurobasket to watch his young passing prodigy. And you know he probably felt a bit squirmy when Rubio clanged around open 15-footer.

He could very easily be Rajon Rondo. A playmaker that's content with setting up teammates in creative ways while sacrificing any sort of good scoring game. But he could also very easily be a poor man's Jose Calderon. One that can't shoot, doesn't pile up assists and doesn't even possess that same kind of annoying intensity. And that's definitely not what you want the supposed savior of your franchise to be.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 2:24 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 12:09 pm
 

NBA Lockout Indiscretion Power Rankings

Posted by Ben Golliver

walker-critt-marbury

With Labor Day in the rearview and another collective bargaining agreement negotiating session on the slate for Wednesday, the NBA has turned a corner. The long, hot lockout summer is kaput.

Thanks to a relatively weak 2011 NBA Draft and without Summer League or a free agency signing period, this summer was mundane compared to the average NBA summer and a major letdown from the hysterical Summer of 2010. Without player movement and roster restructuring to dominate the headlines, our collective attention turned to empty and half-hearted labor rhetoric, planking, tattoos, sponsor trips to Asia, and street ball games.

And one other thing: player indiscretions, both on and off the court. For years, player conduct has been a hot button issue for the league. With that in mind, we present the authors of the top-10 indiscretions of the 2011 NBA lockout.

Top-10

10. Derek Anderson: Alleged financier of major cocaine operation

The temptation was to leave Anderson, a former guard for a number of NBA teams, including the 2006 NBA Champion Miami Heat, off of this list because of the sketchy nature of his accuser. Ultimately, the scope of the charges leveled against him simply cannot be ignored. In August, convicted killer Francois Cunningham alleged that Anderson bankrolled a major cocaine operation in Louisville, KY. Anderson maintained his innocence, through an attorney, and police have not yet charged him with a crime. Coincidentally, Anderson says on his website that he has a television series in production that is set in Georgia and based off of “The Wire.” Hopefully Anderson won’t be the next Snoop.

9. Latrell Sprewell: Millions owed in back taxes

Sure, failing to pay your taxes is kind of a boring transgression. Either the IRS or the state department of revenue is the aggrieved party and it’s hard for the average person to feel much sympathy for them. The best way to spice it up, though, is to owe so much that you actually lead your state in delinquency. That doesn’t happen every day, but former NBA guard Latrell Sprewell, best known for choking Golden State Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo and for saying that he needed to ”feed his family” when he turned down a $20 million + contract offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves, finds himself in that exact situation. The state of Wisconsin published a top-100 list of delinquent taxpayers and Sprewell, a Wisconsin native who also played for the Milwaukee Bucks, holds the very top spot, owing the state more than $3 million.

8. Stephon Marbury: Millions owed to bank over failed sneaker company

I know what you’re thinking: the only thing more boring than owing millions in state taxes is owing millions to a bank. Fair point. That would apply in most cases, but former NBA guard Stephon Marbury is, quite obviously, not most cases. The man who got a tattoo on the side of his head and once ate Vaseline on a live internet stream famously launched an eponymous line of discount sneakers back in 2006. His main retail partner went under, the sneakers drew complaints about quality after some initial positive buzz and now Marbury, currently playing professionally in China, is staring at a $16 million loan that needs to be paid back. Anyone know the specifics of Chinese extradition laws?

7. Kendrick Perkins: Arrested after bar brawl in Texas

When this story first broke, it seemed like absolute chaos. When the dust settled it looked far more routine. Perkins, center for the Oklahoma City Thunder, was home in Texas conducting a children’s basketball camp when he decided to go out for a night on the town. That night ended with him behind bars on charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication after he allegedly attempted to fight the club’s manager. Perkins looks like he is posing for an angry mug shot regardless of what is happening around him so we can assume he was prepared for the incident’s legal aftermath. Through an attorney he has maintained that he is innocent of the charges and that he wasn’t drunk. Still, that was too little, too late, at least by the Thunder’s standards, as the first truly bad headline including the OKC Boy Scouts had been written. Assuming nothing else happens, it will likely be a blip on the radar.

6. Michael Beasley: Marijuana bust and shoving incident with fan

Beasley has the unique honor of being the only active player on this list with multiple indiscretions to his name this summer. The fun began with a relatively routine marijuana bust in July, when Beasley was allegedly caught with marijuana in his car while driving nearly 20 miles over the speed limit. Of course, the circumstances were a bit more serious given that Beasley had previously entered rehab and pledged to his new boss, Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn, that he would remain drug-free. Weeks later, Beasley lost his cool during an exhibition game in New York City, shoving a courtside fan in the face after a back-and-forth trash-talking session. The 28 GMs who didn’t bite when the Miami Heat gave him away for nothing last summer all feel vindicated.

5. Zach Randolph: Drug dealer allegedly assaulted at his home

Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph is the highest-profile current player to find himself in a messy situation this summer. That comes as no surprise to those who have watched his career unfold, as sketchy friends, drug allegations, late-night beatings and the like have seemed to follow him at every stop. In the latest installment, an Oregon drug dealer alleges that Randolph “snatched” his marijuana from him and refused to pay, then watched as Randolph’s friends beat him so badly with pool cues that he had to be hospitalized. Any time your police report reads like a game of Clue– “Associates in the living room with a pool cue” – that’s a really bad sign. Will Randoph ever get a clue? Probably not, and it hasn’t cost him yet, as he just signed a super-rich contract extension with the Grizzlies.

4. Darius Miles: Airport gun incident

Miles, a former teammate of Randolph’s on the so-called “Jail Blazers,” was arrested in the most perplexing and depressing of circumstances. Knee injuries robbed Miles of what should have been the second half of his NBA career and, at 29, he hasn’t touched an NBA court since the 2008-2009 season. In early August, Miles was taken into custody after allegedly trying to take a loaded gun through airport security at St. Louis’ Lambert Airport. That sentence prompts so many questions that it is difficult to know where to begin. Why did he need a gun? Was it for personal protection or image? How could he possibly have thought he would make it through security? If you carry a gun with you for long enough, can you forget you have it with you? And, perhaps most importantly: Is the Darius Miles Story doomed to reach an unhappy ending?

3. Jay Vincent: Jailed on fraud charges

Vincent, childhood friend and former teammate of Magic Johnson at Michigan State and with the Los Angeles Lakers, racked up 413 career steals during a nine-year NBA career. In the twenty years since he retired, Vincent has racked up thousands more. A Michigan court sentenced Vincent to more than five years in jail for his role in an online scam that bilked roughly $1 million out of 20,000 people. During the trial proceedings, Vincent was caught in another alleged scam in which he placed ads for a fake basketball team, charging prospective players a fee for a tryout that never materialized. Not even a plea from Johnson himself could save Vincent from doing hard time.

2. Samaki Walker: Arrested for marijuana and illegal steroid possession

The scope of Walker’s alleged crimes isn’t as grave as many of the others on this list, but it’s certainly the most humorous. Was there a better headline anywhere over the last few months than “Samaki Walker eats marijuana during arrest”? I doubt it. Walker, former Dallas Mavericks lottery pick and member of the 2002 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers, was pulled over by police in Arizona and allegedly had 10 grams of marijuana and liquid steroids in his car. His plan to avoid suspicion was simple: make the marijuana disappear from sight by ingesting it. That’s one of those ideas that is either so brilliant it’s stupid or so stupid it’s brilliant. Either way, it didn’t work. At 35, his professional basketball career is winding down, and he claimed he was using the steroids because they were legal in Syria, where he most recently played. Once it’s time to retire, Walker will surely be able to find work playing himself if they ever make a “Dude, where’s my car” sequel.

1. Javaris Crittenton: Charged with murder

This list ends on a terribly tragic note. Crittenton, a former NBA guard best known for his 2009 locker room dispute over a card game with former Washington Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas that involved guns and saw both players suspended for the season, has been charged with murdering a mother of four in his native Georgia. Police say Crittenton fired at the woman in retaliation for an April robbery in which two men took more than $50,000 worth of jewelry from him at gunpoint outside a barber shop. Crittenton is innocent until proven guilty, but his life will never be the same. And, of course, the life of the victim in the alleged murder, Jullian Jones, has been lost forever.

Dishonorable Mention

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum was allegedly caught parking in a handicapped parking space at a grocery store, despite the presence of many unused, normal parking spots just yards away. The act could have subjected him to a minor fine. This one wasn’t really criminal, but it was criminally immature and insensitive.

Future Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal has found himself in the middle of so many bizarre lawsuits this summer – allegations of wiretapping, hiring hit men, ordering murders, kidnapping, sex tapes, you name it – that it’s impossible to place him on this list.

Missed child support payments are, sadly, a common problem for former professional athletes, but Fab 5 member and former guard for the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets Jimmy King put a twist on the situation, finding himself arrested at church by Michigan police. At church? Is nothing sacred!

Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes punched an opponent during a Bay Area pro-am game and New York Knicks forward Renaldo Balkman headbutted Memphis Grizzlies guard Greivis Vasquez during a FIBA Americas game. Both incidents didn’t quite seem serious enough to crack the top-10.


Posted on: September 1, 2011 12:13 pm
 

Report: Beasley didn't break his wrist in China

Posted by Royce Young

Relax, world. Michael Beasley didn't break his wrist in China. Reportedly.

According to ESPN.com, the report that Beasley may have broke his wrist in China are not accurate. He did however have a doctor examine his in Los Angeles Wednesday as a precaution.

The alleged injury took place in an exhibition game in which Paul Pierce and Beasley were playing in China. Beasley supposedly hurt his wrist, kept playing anyway and then woke up the next morning with a lot of pain and a dcotor there felt it was likely broken. Evidently something got lost in translation.

Also: Beasley and Paul Pierce didn't have asthma attacks either. Or at least that's what Pierce tweeted. I don't even know what to believe anymore.
Posted on: August 29, 2011 1:41 pm
 

Did Michael Beasley break his wrist in China?

Posted by Royce Young

Hard to know how accurate a report this is right now, but HoopChina reports that Michael Beasley suffered a wrist injury Sunday during the China Championships with it possibly being a broken wrist.

Want a reason to maybe not play overseas, NBA players? Well there it is.

If Beasley did indeed break his wrist, he's almost surely going to miss the start of the 2011-12 season. Assuming of course that the 2011-12 season starts on time, which as of right now appears to be quite the assumption.

Beasley was in China with Paul Pierce playing a Chinese team in some exhibition thing. Beasley had scored 32 points when the injury happened. According to the report, he injured it during the game but it felt much worse the next morning (being Monday).

Nothing is entirely clear at this point but it seems sure that Beasley injured his wrist in some regard Sunday night. Whether that's a break, a tear, a sprain or whatever, we'll have to wait and see a bit. The main thing to take is how this could send a bit of a wake up call to the players hooping all over the place. I doubt it will stop anyone, but injury is indeed a real possibility. To this point, nobody had been bitten by it, but injuries can happen at any time.

Via HoopsHype
Posted on: August 29, 2011 1:41 pm
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